Visit frequency in the eating out market has grown for the first time in six months due to a drop in inflation and national insurance rates and a rise in consumer confidence.

According to Lumina Intelligence, frequency has seen the highest metric shift year-on-year at 1.5% in the four weeks to 17 March 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, with penetration growing by a smaller 0.5%.

The Eating and Drinking Out Panel snapshot for the four weeks to 17 March also indicates consumers are choosing dinner over lunch occasions. Dinner has seen the highest growth in day part share of occasions at 1.5%, while lunch was down 0.8%.

The growth in dinner occasions has accompanied a 0.6% decline in drink-only occasion share as consumers trade up to food-based occasions for evening socialising.

QSR has seen the highest channel share growth, which Lumina Intelligence attributes to habitual cost-saving behaviour driving consumers towards the lower-ticket channel.

This growth has been driven by pizza collection as consumers take advantage of collection-only deals from brands including Domino’s.

Coffee and sandwich shops remain the most popular channel due to its coverage of day parts across breakfast, lunch, and drink-only occasions, as well as its low-ticket nature. This indicates persisting consumer caution despite recovering finances, according to Lumina.

In addition to pizza, cakes and sandwiches have also seen growth due to the popularity of coffee and sandwich shops.


For more information on Lumina’s Eating and Drinking Out panel, please click here.